#334 Final Furlong, #269 Puzzle Bobble

Posted: 7th August 2012 by Mulholland in Games
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As you have undoubtedly noticed we are, once again, doing two ames in one post. We did this two months ago after trawling the arcades of Piccadilly Circus so what could that mean?

It was a grey Saturday. Slightly chilly and there was some spits of rain in the afternoon… so of course this is the day I said we should go to Brighton. Why? Well shouldn’t we? So we ate waffles on the pier, fish and chips on the beach, threw stones into the sea, watched as the sea recoiled in terror from Jeroen… yea

Anyway, whilst we were there we perused two of the amusement arcades (would have been three but the one near the SeaLife Centre appeared to be closed down… maybe it’ll be open later). The arcades on Brighton Pier itself  had many wrong editions of games we need to play but also had the original Guitar Hero. Fun Fact: Brighton Pier was the first arcade in the UK to stock Guitar Hero! We got super excited because it would mean many blog games knocked on the head… and then we got home and I saw that the arcade edition is a stripped down version of Guitar Hero 3 which is not on this list… UGH!

The other two games we found in a pretty much deserted amusement arcade on seafront including Final Furlong! In many conversations this game has been referred to as a ‘blog killer’ since it is one that unless we were lucky enough to find an arcade with it… well we would not be able to get to play all 1001 games. There are others… but we’ll let you know about those when we get to them.

Our Thoughts

Final Furlong

168th played so far

Genre: Racing
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1997
Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco

Ah the blog killer. More like the leg killer… both of our legs really turned to jelly after playing this game.

Many readers will have probably seen this machines in arcades years ago but since these are fairly bulky (the one we played was originally four horses long but was cut in half to be placed into this small deserted arcade) a lot of them have either been sold on or gotten rid of in favour of modern machines or an increasing amount of slot machines. Seriously, plenty of slot machines does not a decent arcade make.

This game is on the list because of the very unusual contraption required to play it… namely fairly large horse replicas that can be rocked back and forth in order to simulate the movements of a jockey. After playing this game I can not help but feel more respect for jockeys. There are regular flat races and steeplechase events with some courses being longer than others… I am thankful I went for a shorter course because I kinda found it hard to stand afterwards.

Whether or not we enjoyed this (and in a strange way we did) this is one of those games where you see it and know immediately why it’s on the list. I’m still sore!

To expand a bit on this, the game is mostly just heavy work – you have to physically rock the horse back and forth to proceed. You can whip it to make it hurry (to a point) and courses sometimes have obstacles. In the end, you have to be fast enough to win.

The game is fairly straightforward – though with a surprising amount of tracks and options – and fun to play. Just prepare to be exhausted by the end. If you can find it.

Puzzle Bobble

169th played so far

Genre: Puzzle
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 1994
Developer: Taito
Publisher: Taito

Okay so this isn’t a game we just HAD to play in the arcade but I was looking for any excuse for a sit-down after Final Furlong. (There was also an arcade version of Street Fighter 2 which was fun). Then again this game was originally an arcade exclusive so no harm.

Puzzle Bobble (known as Bust-A-Move to a lot of us) is a fairly simple game, though its puzzle elements can drag you in for a long time. You shoot coloured orbs at the screen. Once three or more of them are linked, they explode and fall away. If not, they stick to the ceiling or another ball. Any balls no longer glued to the ceiling fall away.

It’s a fairly simple concept, executed with a lot of bright colours and fun effects. The puzzles, at the same time, are actually quite tough, and the desperation that sets in after you’re getting close to having your screen filled is scary. My main beef would be that the controls can be imprecise – it’s hard to know where you’re shooting – but that’s also part of the challenge. Enjoyable and frustrating at the same time.

Final Thoughts

Not really fair to combine these two, but I suppose we want to have something here…

Final Furlong is an enjoyable game, offering a unique concept – I don’t know of any games covering the sport – with unique gameplay – the racing is absolutely different and fun to do, even if you hope nobody else is watching while you do it. Worth trying to find while you can, it might not last long.

Puzzle Bobble is a fun puzzle game – easy to pick up, difficult to master and last long in. It’s available for most platforms and often remade, so even easy to track down. That good enough for you?

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